My first act of activism came when I was about 6; we were at a friend's farm and they were planning to kill a rooster for dinner. I snuck into the pen and hid the rooster in my mom's SUV. I wasn't discovered until we were already driving home, and was allowed to keep him. It was not until late High School when I decided to extend my compassion to all animals and with it, came a strong desire to "save the world", so to speak. Since then, I have been advocating for the environment, people, and animals.
Around the same year of the rooster rescue, I witnessed my cousin being bullied and felt terrible because I was much weaker and unable to help. This early interest in fitness resulted in never being bullied myself, and being able to protect classmates in NY. Many years later, my friend and I visited a martial arts gym but left within 5 minutes because he was intimidated. I made a trip back alone and fell in love with the sport instantly.
This campaign is the result of combining my two passions together! I will join a martial arts gym again and prepare to fight one time for the International Anti-Poaching Foundation.
My charity is the IAPF because they have such an inspiring story:
Damien Mander had a military career of 9 years, 3 years of which were spent in Iraq. After witnessing the widespread poaching of endangered animals and environmental destruction in Africa, he invested his life savings - including the sale all investment properties - to fund the start up and running costs of the IAPF.
In 2010, Damien's long-time best mate, former soldier Steven Dean, sold up all his assets, donated the proceeds to the IAPF and moved to Africa to help with the struggle.
Africa is now the frontline for Damien and Steve.
I am hoping to raise at least $10,000, which will be solely used for this campaign and promoting the IAPF. Along with training and fighting, I will be donating 100% of my earnings from the fight. If the campaign results in a significant increase of funding for the war on poaching, I am open to doing many more fights.
To follow me during this project, visit: http://www.andrestakeson.com/Blank.html
Cage fighting is of course, a full contact sport with risks involved, so I hope this campaign raises huge support for the IAPF.
Please feel free to pass this email along to anyone that might be interested.
Thank you for your generous support!